Creating a Life of Plenty

Using Herbs: Smudge Sticks and Burning Bundles


A couple of months ago I took deep and final cuttings and harvested the balance of my herbs from the herb garden. Some of these bundles were brambled and jarred up for culinary, ceremonial and medicinal purposes. However the bulk of that final cutting were dried and prepared to make burning bundles and smudge sticks. These will be part of my holiday gift baskets to share more bounty from the garden with my family and friends.
For the smudge sticks I chose sage, rosemary and lavender. These three herbs are traditional for spiritual cleansing and protection and make great choices. I like to combine herbs rather than simply use sage (my olfactory preference).
Choose the twine you will use to wrap the smudge stick. Use a natural material like cotton, raffia or hemp, and when possible select a red colored twine. Red is the most common color used in Native American ceremonies for its spiritual power.
Lie out your cuttings and form an easy to wrap bundle. Place the herbs that burn fast on the inside of the stick and place the sage on the outside. Tie a loop on one end of the twine and pass the other end through the loop to make a slipknot. Pick up the herb pile and place the slipknot loop around the bottom of the stems, pulling tight.
Wrap the twine around the smudge stick until you have reached the top. Be sure to keep a moderate tension. If the twine is too tight the smudge stick will not burn well, however if it is too loose your smudge stick will fall apart. When you have reached the top, reverse the direction, wrap again to the bottom, and tie a knot. These smudge sticks are used to cleanse a space of negative energy.
Burning bundles are used in fire places and fire pits to add fragrance and a touch of magic to the hearth fire. I chose to make two types; a lemon/lime bundle and a winter herb bundle.
The lemon-lime bundle consists of three pieces of fat wood, a small bundle of hosta stems (lunar magic), lemon balm (success) tied up with dried lemon and lime slices (success and protection).
The winter herb bundle contains fatwood, cinnamon (love), rosemary (protection) and lavender (love and enchantment). These bundles are tied up with dried orange slices.
There are so many ways to use herbs, I hope you like these!
Happy Gardening!

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